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Traditions and History

Traditions are the customs, rituals, stories and ways of thinking that those in earlier generations hand down to us and we in turn hand down to future generations. Traditions are very important because they help us understand life, who we are, where we fit in our community and world, and how the story of our life fits in the larger stories of our community and world.

At Servite, we are not just part of the story of or our class, but part of the larger 50 year story of our school, the 780 year story of our Order and the 2000 year story of our Church.

In 1957 the Archdiocese of Los Angeles invited the Order Friar Servants of Mary (Servites) in Chicago to come to Orange County to open an all-male Catholic high school in Anaheim.

Father Maurice Gillespie, OSM, arrived in May, 1958 with a small band of Friars as well as equipment, supplies and personnel from St. Philip High School in Chicago. They got an unfinished brick building and 110 boys that would comprise the inaugural freshman class.

When school started in the fall of 1958, Servite was holding classes in borrowed classrooms at St. Philip Benizi Elementary School while the administration worked out of a windowless storage room. The main building was finished in December, 1958 and was dedicated by James Francis Cardinal McIntyre on the Feast of the Seven Holy Fathers, February 12th, 1959. Servite has grown immensely over the years, and today 965 students call themselves Friars.

From the beginning Servite has emphasized developing faith-filled leaders prepared for success in college and life. Servite teaches young men to seek excellence in academics, athletics, the arts and Catholic spirituality. Servite men become leaders in business, medicine, law, non-profits, military and civic service and in the Church.